Vernon, BC: The Vernon Vipers are pleased to announce the leadership group for the 2021 Pod Season. Hunter Donohoe, Trey Taylor, Tyler Carpendale and Seth Bafaro will all wear 'A's for the duration of the Pod Season.
"This is a unique situation, where we will be playing a lot of hockey in a short period of time," says Head Coach and GM of the Vipers Jason McKee. "There will be ups and downs and we feel the experience these players have will really help our group."
Hunter Donohoe joined the group in November of last season. He had 2 goals and 9 assists in the regular season before adding 3 points in 5 games in the playoffs.
"Hunter has really grown and developed as a player," says Jason McKee. "He's the type of player who our younger guys gravitate to. That trait will be extremely important in the next 6 weeks."
"It's an honour to be chosen to be a part of the leadership group," says Donohoe. "I believe every guy in the room has battled this year for us to get a chance to play and we are all excited to get back on the ice!"
Trey Taylor is in his third season with the Vipers and has amassed over 120 games in a Vipers uniform.
"Trey has had the chance to learn from some spectacular leaders like Jagger Williamson and Connor Marritt," says Jason McKee." This is the next step in his development."
"I think when someone is recognized and gets a letter and changes the way they play or changes who they are it defeats the purpose of the letter," says Taylor. "I want to continue to be me; laugh, joke and have fun playing this amazing game. I am excited for this process and more importantly get the chance to play."
It's been a smaller sample size for Tyler Carpendale, but in the short time he's donned a Viper jersey, his impact is hard to miss. Carpendale has spent the last 3 seasons in the WHL.
"Tyler is a leader on and off the ice. He's a player that can be a vocal leader as well as a tone setter for this group," says McKee.
"I'm looking forward to getting things going," says Carpendale. "It's an honour to be a part of this leadership group."
Finally, Seth Bafaro, who has yet to suit up for a game in a Vipers uniform. He however has spent parts of 5 seasons in the WHL including a lengthy playoff run with the Vancouver Giants.
"Seth has seen a lot of things in his career," says Jason McKee. "This shortened season will see a lot of challenges and his experiences should help our team"
"It's a huge honour to be a part of this leadership group," says Bafaro. "Everyone has been waiting a long time to get to this point. We've got to come together and get off to a good start!"
The Vipers will open up the 2021 Pod Season on Good Friday at 7pm when they take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.